Calls for footballers to wear masks if Bundesliga returns

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany’s Ministry of Labour wants footballers to wear masks as protection against the coronavirus if Angela Merkel’s government gives the green light for the Bundesliga to return next month.

The German Football League (DFL) confirmed that they are ready for the Bundesliga to resume from May 9, albeit without fans and with strict player hygiene measures in place.

According to magazine Spiegel, the Ministry for Labour has drafted safety guidelines which include a recommendation players wear a mask which would “not slip in sprints, headers and challenges”.

“Should the masks slip, the game must immediately be stopped”, according to the draft, and because the masks would get wet fast due to exertion, they should be “replaced every 15 minutes at the latest”.

Germany’s team doctor Tim Meyer is skeptical.

“There have also been suggestions such as players should keep their distance in the free-kick wall,” Meyer told the German press agency DPA.

“But then the spectators would no longer perceive football as authentic. If players played with masks, I don’t think that would be accepted.”

Another suggestion in the ministry guidelines is that each team be quarantined in a hotel for the duration of the season amid hopes it can be completed in Germany by June 30.